NUMBER COULD RISE

Over 20 buffaloes, three hippos die in Lamu due to drought

The animals died of dehydration after they got stuck in mud as they sought water in various points

In Summary

• The water sources have since dried up due to drought leaving behind muddy puddles which the animals get stuck in. 

• These areas are now littered with animal carcasses with the smell of decay filling the air.

Water bowser at Lake Kenyatta in Mpeketoni.
Water bowser at Lake Kenyatta in Mpeketoni.
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES

@ppcheti

At least 20 buffaloes and three hippos have died in the last week due to drought in Lamu county.

Lamu Kenya Wildlife Service boss Mathias Mwavita on Wednesday said the animals died of dehydration after they got stuck in the mud as they sought water.

The water sources have since dried up due to drought leaving behind muddy puddles which the animals get stuck in. 

These areas are now littered with animal carcasses with the smell of decay filling the air.

Many of the carcasses are spread around Pandanguo, Dide Waride, Lake Chomo, Bar’goni, Hindi and some parts of Witu and Mpeketoni which are hard hit by the ongoing drought.

Water sources have dried up, a situation that has tripled human-wildlife conflicts in the region as the two groups scramble for the little water available.

Mwavita termed the situation alarming and said KWS was in talks with partners including NGOs to help mitigate the situation.

A herd of hippos stuck in the mud due to diminishing water levels at Lake Kenyatta in Mpeketoni, Lamu West.
A herd of hippos stuck in the mud due to diminishing water levels at Lake Kenyatta in Mpeketoni, Lamu West.
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES

“We have recorded 20 buffalo and 3 hippo carcasses. The number could rise in the coming days if something isn’t done,” Mwavita said.

On Tuesday, KWS commenced a massive water trucking exercise in a bid to save the thousands of thirsty wild animals in the region from imminent death due to the ravaging drought.

The move is also aimed at rescuing hundreds of animals majorly hippopotamus and buffaloes that are stuck in the mud at various water points.

Areas targeted for the trucking exercise include Lake Kenyatta, Lake Chomo, Mkunumbi Dam, Pandanguo and Dide Waride, Pandanguo and Lake Chomo.

Mwavita said the move is an emergency intervention meant to save wildlife and sustain them until the drought period passes.

At least 200 hippos, buffaloes and other animals are stuck at some of the targeted water points.

The KWS county boss said the move will also reduce human-wildlife conflicts as the two groups will no longer scramble for the same water sources.

Lamu is among the counties in Kenya that have been worst hit by drought and require urgent interventions to address the same.

In a recent statement, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the drought in most parts of the country a national disaster.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris